Former MP calls on shire to make quarry a park

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Nature reserve: Mornington Peninsula Shire is being urged to retain the disused Mt Martha quarry as a low key sanctuary with wetlands for birds and frogs instead of selling it to help pay for a swimming pool complex at Rosebud.

Nature reserve: Mornington Peninsula Shire is being urged to retain the disused Mt Martha quarry as a low key sanctuary with wetlands for birds and frogs instead of selling it to help pay for a swimming pool complex at Rosebud.

FORMER Mornington MP and state government minister Robin Cooper has renewed his opposition to the sale of the Mt Martha quarry.

Mr Cooper says the quarry reserve should be made safe and opened to the public.

“No development should happen there. They should let people in; it’s not the place for multi-storey development, we’re not Hong Kong.”

The quarry has been earmarked for sale by Mornington Peninsula Shire which badly needs money to help pay for a $40 million swimming pool complex it wants to build on the foreshore at Rosebud.

It is understood the shire has been told it could reap $4 million by selling the 4.6 hectare quarry reserve squeezed between Stanley Crescent and Fairbairn Ave off the Esplanade between Mt Martha and Safety Beach.

Mr Cooper said if the quarry was sold the proceeds should be spent on benefitting Mt Martha residents, not the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (or SPA).

The council also plans on selling the remaining part of the former Mornington High School site and the Mornington Youth Club at 130 Wilsons Rd, Mornington. An auction for the youth club and its 3260 square metre site is scheduled for 11am Friday 27 June.

A press advertisement says that the building is used for gymnastics classes and is “also suitable (subject to council approval) as a place of assembly”.

Council is committed to using the proceeds from the high school and youth club sites for development at Civic Reserve, at the corner of Mornington-Tyabb and Dunns roads, Mornington.

Mr Cooper said the planned swimming complex at Rosebud would be “a significant ongoing cost” for the shire affecting the capital works program “for many years”.

He said it was pointless building an aquatic centre on the foreshore.

Pelican Park Recreation Centre, with its centrepiece pool, had been built on the foreshore at Hastings “but that’s because Hastings doesn’t have a beach”.

Mr Cooper said he had opposed the shire’s first attempt to sell the quarry in 2003 “and my view hasn’t changed”.

He said the shire was desperate, “grabbing any piece of dirt they own and wanting to pay it [SPA] off”.

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